I’m pretty sure that this is not a national movement but I was surprised to read in the Tacoma News-Tribune this morning that a sports writer is advocating a play-clock in baseball! Is he crazy? That is just wrong! The joy of baseball is its unhurried pace. The contest matches the skill of the pitcher against the skill of the batter. It pits the throwing ability of the fielders against the quickness and agility of the runners. We watch and wait (emphasis on ‘wait’) to see if the pitcher will be able to strike out the batter or if the batter will jump on a bad pitch and get a hit. Then we wait to see what that runner will do once on base. Its an intricate game with numerous battles taking place on the field over a span of nine innings – not a fixed time period.
According to the article, umpires would assess a walk against any pitcher that took more than 20 seconds between pitches! Why not just call a strike on every foul ball (not just the first two) to prevent a batter from fouling off an unlimited number of pitches? While you’re at it you could assess a ball on a throw to first base that does not get the runner out. Perhaps the best idea is to limit the total number of pitches that may be thrown against any one batter to to 6. If you can’t get the batter out in 6 pitches then he is awarded first base. That would certainly move the game along and would likely result in more runs (most of them by walks). Now wouldn’t that be exciting! If high scores are your goal than prohibit the insertion of a relief pitcher during innings! Make him pitch an entire inning unless injured. And if he claims an injury in order to be removed he must go on the 10-day disabled list!
Don’t you just love messing with all the rules?
I say, leave the clock to sports that were created with a time limit as part of the contest and leave baseball to set its own pace!
What do you think!